People Like You More than You Think

I know some of us always feel shy about our ability to talk to a newbie. This lack of confidence translates into the misconception that others don't feel good about us, even though it is not true.


When we think that we are bad at something, we assume that others think so too. Because of this, we are often embarrassed and shy when talking to others. But actually, they like us more and will talk to us more than we think.


Here are three concepts that help you turn this doubt into a feeling of confidence every time you start getting to know someone.


1. The Liking Gap - The emotional distance


A study published in the Psychological Science Journal shows that others like us more than we think. There is always a gap between how much we think others like us and how much they really like us. This difference is called the "emotional distance".


The study gathered participants and instructed them to talk to each other on any topic for 5 minutes. Each person then assesses how much they like the other, as well as how much they think the other will like them. Results showed that participants tended to underestimate themselves in the eyes of others.


Subsequent follow-up studies, both in the laboratory and real-world situations, yielded the same results. This emotional distance lasts for months and continues through many conversations.


So why do we think that people will have a negative view of us?


2. The Spotlight Effect 

The Spotlight Effect makes us think that we are getting more attention than we actually are. It makes you feel like the stains on your shirt or the razor marks on your face are now the focus of attention for anyone who meets you.


Because we are always central in our own world, we tend to attach that central point of view to the minds of others. But actually, in the conversation, everyone's gaze is not focused on you and all your small flaws like invisible lasers. They are focusing on themselves and what they say, just like you.


We often fall into a state of self-blame and wish we didn't say so, but most people think nothing of your petty mistakes while talking. Most likely other people don't realize it, but if they do, they certainly won't pay as much attention to it as you do.


Even if you are different in some way and really attract attention, people will see you in a more positive way than you think, due to the emotional distance above explained.


3. The Illusion of Transparency

The Illusion of Transparency makes us think that our thoughts and emotions are more attentive to others than reality.


For example, if you are worried about giving a presentation in public, you think that other people can see through that, then you become even more nervous. But the reality is different. Imagine you are an audience, do you really care or recognize the speaker's mental state?


As with the focal effect, the illusion of transparency originates from our point of view. We think that others also see themselves in a pattern when we judge ourselves.


In fact, other people do not focus their attention to that extent, nor do we judge so much, but instead are more tolerant of how we see ourselves. In other words, they are more indifferent to us than we think because they are also busy with similar worries in their heads.


Just by remembering this, we can be less worried that others are seeing us in a negative way. Thanks to that, we can approach new acquaintances with a more positive and carefree mind.

We often worry too much about the mindset of the person we just met. Remember, most of them are appreciating us more than we think.


We tend to like people who like us, which is called reciprocal linking. When we know that others like us, we will like them back, and as a result, they will like it backward. Just understand this mentality, along with the concepts mentioned above, we will be less worried and comfortable talking to new people, opening more relationships more properly.


Whenever you doubt yourself, don't forget that other people think better of you than you think.